- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson and running mate William Weld continue to draw interest from the press, along with voters exploring their third-party options in the presidential election.

Both candidates appeared Wednesday night in a live, one-hour CNN town hall broadcast at 9 p.m. EDT, with network anchor Anderson Cooper moderating. The two parsed out the state of the presidential race, took plenty of free-wheeling potshots and both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and set forth some basic Libertarian tenets. See CNN’s recap here

But it’s gets very complicated with the Libertarian team. On Monday, the former governor of New Mexico told the network that he had been in contact with former Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and suggested that an endorsement might be in the offing.

“I think he’s considering the possibility of doing this, of actually endorsing the two of us,” said Mr. Johnson. Mr. Weld, like Mr. Romney, is a former Massachusetts governor.

They have bigger concerns, however. The two Libertarians must reach a required 15 percent voter approval rating in national opinion polls that would place them in a trio of sanctioned, much-publicized presidential debates in September. They are also seeking money.

Mr. Johnson recently launched a “money bomb” appeal to his followers, a technique employed by Ron Paul and son Rand Paul when they ran for the White House.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has also warranted increased media coverage in recent days as a viable third-party alternative. As a CNN poll reveals that Ms. Stein is beginning to pick up Sen. Bernard Sanders’ disenfranchised supporters, Ms. Stein has officially named her running mate.

“I am honored and excited to announce that my running mate in the 2016 presidential election will be Ajamu Baraka — activist, writer, intellectual and organizer with a powerful voice, vision and lifelong commitment to building true political revolution,” said Ms. Stein, describing Mr. Baraka as a “spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come — an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice.”

Some closer numbers from the poll:

  • 9 percent of voters overall support Gary Johnson; 6 percent of Republicans, 15 percent of independents, 3 percent of Democrats, 8 percent of conservatives, 5 percent of liberals and 10 percent of Sanders supporters agree.
  • 5 percent of voters overall support Jill Stein; 3 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of independents, 1 percent of Democrats, 3 percent of conservatives, 10 percent of liberals and 12 percent of Sanders supporters agree.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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